And so the announcement must be made… My parents are moving across the country. To Oscoda, MI. Those of you that know me, know this may be the hardest change I face in my life. My parents have never been more than 20 minutes away in my lifetime. My parents have been my North Star, my lighthouse in the storm, my camp counselor, my greatest teacher and my best friends. They mean the world to me and my Doodle. They have been our constants through everything. Never a back turned, never a moment of questioning their love for me or us, never a moment where they wouldn’t be there. Even today, in a stable marriage with wonderful children of my own, my parents never miss a big moment. Surgery; they are in the waiting room. New job; they are celebrating. Wedding; they reschedule their summer vacation. Doodle; they jump at the chance to spend time with her. This is not like life moments of my past; cancer or car accidents or divorce or any of life’s great struggles that I’ve faced. No, this is very different. This is me learning a new normal, learning a new day-to-day. This is me cheering on my parents next stage of their life, versus them cheering mine on. And this is me and Doodle seeing my folks much much less than the two to three times a week we are used to.
But, as with all change, though there will be a struggle, there is also beauty. The beauty exists within everything. And God works in mysterious ways. The beauty; my parents will be near family and friends. They will own their home, they will live in a quaint community, they will be a few minutes drive from my aunt and grandma, they will get to enjoy retired life with people who are also retired and they will get to become snow birds. They will also have independence, more financial stability, freedom and again, those pesky family and friends that live in Michigan.
This is a new adventure for our entire family. One in which none of us are used to. One in which normal is changing. But, one that we can make as beautiful as we choose. Right now my parents are remodeling their new home (what fun) and mom is thinking up a million ways to redecorate it I am certain (what fun). Once they are moved and settled, they better believe they will have guests. Five rowdy and excitable guests. I have told the Mr that my fondest childhood memories stem from summers in Oscoda, as an adult I struggled to make time to get there, there was always something more important, filled with more adventure. But, now, there is nothing more important.
I cannot wait to show my girls some of my childhood memories. Riding big red, canoeing the Au Sable River, eating Jim’s ice cream, biking to the corner store for candy, movie nights with family, card night with family, the Catholic church on the water, Big Boy, Mackinac City, Mackinac Island, The Grand Hotel, Enchanted Blooms, etc etc etc. The list is endless. The joy is authentic. The adventure is a traditional family vacation. I cannot wait for my girls to experience, what in my heart is, the best summer vacation ever.
To my parents I simply say this:
Mom and Dick, you will be missed. Your love and care, your attention and guidance, your support and encouragement, they have shaped me into the woman I am today. The journey we have shared to this point in my life has been magical. My love for you is deeper than I could ever convey, more valuable than any expression could show and more impactful than any words spoken. Thank you for being the two most generous parents in this world. Thank you for being the two most loving parents in this world. Thank you for being the two most supportive parents in this world. I only hope I can live up to the example you have set. As you head into a new journey in your life know this, know I love you completely, know I appreciate you entirely, know I could never show you or tell you just how much you matter to me. Know that I wish to grow in love with J as you two have over the years, I hope to love and support my bonus children as unconditionally as Dick supported me, I hope to raise Avery with the same discipline and love as you raised me with. And know that you better have that guest bedroom ready at all times because home is where my family is… I love you.
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